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Painter’s World: Little Acts of Appreciation

Every day, a painter’s world includes opportunities to show his or her appreciation. To someone. For something.


Ten Acts of Appreciation a Hotel Painter Can Try


  1. Thank your teammates, supervisor, and other coworkers for their help, support, etc.
  2. Go easy on the teammate that goofed, again. Even if he or she could have prevented it.
  3. Hold the door open for a hotel guest trying to get moved into his or her room.
  4. Offer to hold something so a guest can strap his or her toddler into the safety car seat.
  5. Cut your chief engineer some slack. Tell him or her, “That’s okay. I can see that you’re under a lot of extra pressure right now…”
  6. Volunteer an extra pair of hands to a teammate, or staff member in another department.
  7. Offer that grumpier or aloof co-worker a way to talk to you without any explanation.
  8. Cover for a teammate when he or she needs to make a personal call during work time.
  9. Cut your co-workers some slack, especially when the work pressure is getting to them.
  10. Discreetly offer a “listening ear” to a co-worker whose mood/behavior/attitude has changed for some reason.


Ten Acts of Appreciation a Commercial-Industrial Painter Can Try


  1. Thank your fellow crew members for their efforts to bring in a project within constraints.
  2. Offer to cover for a co-worker who needs a little longer lunch or break time.
  3. Foreman: offer the worker, who is very pressured by personal responsibilities, the option to occasionally start work a little later. Or to leave a little earlier..
  4. Give the new guy a hand, or two. Even if he or she is experienced. Remember when you started out there?
  5. Cut that apprentice some slack. He or she is new to painting, and new to your company.
  6. Periodically, thank and visit your suppliers’ stores, shops, websites,, etc.
  7. Periodically connect with both your strong and less strong connections through social media. Acknowledge their recent accomplishments, or news. Thank them for any input they’ve given.
  8. On-site crew member: Loan a better paintbrush to a newer coworker, who might not yet own the size or type of brush needed to do the task.
  9. Thank and praise both long-standing and newer crew members. Especially when things have been going rough on the project, and/or for the company
  10. Thank your company’s office staff for making your job more doable. Please thank your foreman, superintendent/boss and company owner once periodically, too.


FOOTNOTE: I remember every person that has helped me, as a painter, to have a good day. Their smiles or laughs.  Their joking jabs. Their choices of words. Their handshakes. Their encouragement. The hands that they lent me. Their “training.” Their advice and constructive criticism. It all mattered to me. They all mattered to me.



Showing appreciation works better when it’s sincere, spontaneous, and individualized.


Behind “Painting with Bob” is a network of dedicated painters, professionals, friends, and editor.

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


Paintshop: Managing Minor Frustrations and Snags

We’ve all had them. Those annoying, little glitches in our regular schedules that can mess up everything.


Take the new compressor hose that kinks, and causes the paint spray to sputter and spurt out of the nozzle. Or the day-late shipment of a big order of industrial coating for pipes. Or when you’re short two crew members, because they called in sick on the same day. Or the blown tire on the equipment-loaded truck out on the freeway.


What do you do? How do you deal with this minor stuff, so that you can move on to the real jobs?


Speedy Solutions for Minor Snags


1. Kinking compressor hose


Cut the hose where kinked area exists. Fit a hose connector – brass or galvanized pipe, as available. Then clasp each side of the connection with the proper size of stainless steel pipe clamp. This will hold well, until you are able to change out a new hose.


2. Delayed shipment of paint

A. Put out an emergency call to the manufacturer’s rep for a small supply of product. Enough to get at least one day of spraying completed.

B. Call the manager of the paint manufacturer’s closest paint store. Explain the situation. Have them get on the horn and get some of the shipment to you pronto.


3. Manpower shortage on a rush job

A. Call your company superintendent. Ask him to switch two guys to your job site for two days – whatever length of time you need the extra help.

B. Shorthanded anyway? Call for two men through the local painter’s union.

C. Non-union shop? Call the nearest construction trades’ labor pool.

D. Switch tasks on the schedule, if possible.


4. Big flat tire on loaded equipment truck

A. Call the shop for someone to bring out a replacement tire. TIP: Before you call, make sure that you have the jack system on the truck.

B. Call the shop for someone to bring out another truck, and then help you transfer the load. TIPS: Don’t think about transferring equipment that requires more men than you have around. And, never try to transfer equipment that requires OTHER equipment to move, lift, and/or lower it.

C. Call a truck towing service.

D. Call a truck rental outfit for emergency delivery.


5. Running out of paint thinner on a remote industrial job site.

A. Call your shop foreman. Have someone grab a supply, and deliver it to you.

B. Call the nearest paint store for an emergency delivery.

C. Call the closest Home Depot, Lowes, etc. – wherever your company has an account. Purchase a day’s supply of thinner over the phone. If possible, send a worker to pick it up.

D. Hand some cash to your site crew’s “go-for” person – apprentice. And, send him or her to the nearest hardware store. TIP: Price will be higher than a trade-construction source.


NOTE: Once, we called the business agent at the union hall, and asked him to pick up eight gallons of thinner from the nearest Sherwin-Williams, on the way for his scheduled visit to our site. Our company president ordered the supply. S-W had the containers waiting at their back door.


6. Two spray guns malfunction at the same time.


SPRAYER’S TIP: In your truck, carry a replacement rebuild kit for each type of spray gun you use frequently. Also, keep a supply of replacement rebuild kits for each type in the paintshop.

A. Call the shop foreman for quick delivery of a replacement rebuild kit for each spray gun you are using on-site. Also ask for a box of extra repair parts.

B. Call the nearest paint tool and equipment outlet that you deal with. Ask for a rush delivery.

C. Call your company boss, and ask him or her to buy a new spray gun and deliver it.

D. Do a rush clean-out of one spray gun, to get it back on the job. At least for that day.

E. At day’s end, tear down both spray guns. And do a complete overhaul.


By the way, sometimes you don’t have the time or resources to deal with a minor snag in the usual, standard, or acceptable way. When that’s the case, just do what you need to do to get the job moving forward.


BOTTOM LINE: Whatever comes along and stands in you and your crew’s way of getting the job done, do the best you can do at the time – and with what you have. And sweat about any repercussion later.


It can take more skill and savvy to deal with the minor snags than the major job or project.


Thank you for clicking into “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop Policies: Reporting Problems with Products and Materials

Every paintshop has policies and practices in place on how to handle problems that might crop up. And, every painter, as well as others that use that department, need to adhere to those policies.


In fact, each new department worker’s training must include this aspect of employment. At both the department level, and company-wide.


  1. Report all issues to immediate supervisor, shop foreman or company representative.
  2. Properly label paint products and supplies according to location in which they are used.
  3. Help others to choose the correct products for the surfaces, conditions and use/traffic situations.
  4. Document each problem beyond the normal-use level.
  5. Report any damage or loss to your supervisor.
  6. Determine and post “Paintshop Policies” and business policies.


Re: Products and materials used by you and teammates, or fellow crew members.

  1. Provide other departments with postable notices about procedures for reporting problems with products or materials to Paintshop and Engineering. TIP: Be sure to supply each department with notices to cover updates or changes in policies and procedures.
  2. With their and your supervisors’ permission, provide written suggestions on how to handle these problems.

Bottom Line: If you are the person responsible for the operations of the paintshop, stand firm. And, help others to follow those policies and procedures that you must follow.



Running a paintshop requires one part policy, two parts consistency, and seven parts diplomacy.


Thanks for doing your job to the best of your ability.

Thanks for your emails, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


People Make the Difference: Inside Your Own Life

Time, circumstance and preferences change our holiday agendas. What we do, where we go (or stay), and who we spend the season with reflects our current take on life.




Purdue U. friend Paul.

“I’m in a better place than a year ago. Thanks to prostrate scare, I’ve simplified. I retired as dean, and took a part-time teaching post. My wife and I moved back to southern Indiana. We’re within three hours of all of our children and grandchildren. We downsized to a 1,950 square feet English-style villa, from a 3,800-plus square feet, two-story Georgian with five acres to care for.”


Arizonan family friend.

“I’m ready to let someone else run this business. I don’t need to be in charge any more. I want to take my son and grandsons to the mountains, and fish…”


Aruban pilot pal.

“…leaving the destructive winds was the start of a new life. I sold the tourist charter plane service. I moved back to Columbia, and work with my cousins. At their family coffee plantation. We’ve always gotten along like brothers…”


Former PPG manufacturer’s rep.

“I asked for a smaller region. I had to move over 2,000 miles to get one. My wife and I were able to cut our expenses nearly a third. We were ready for a change of scenery. Relaxed life. More time…”


Painter friend Alex.

He first sent a Scrooge answer.

“The year’s been tough. I’m not in a good place. Nothing’s going right…”


Five minutes later his follow-up:

“Spinal surgery was a success. The doctors say that my son will be walking again by the middle of 2018. His wife, my daughter-in-law, has been able to return to full-time at work. My wife: she’s decorating everything in sight this Christmas…”


Southern Indiana cousin.

“Bob, I finally got it when my nephew asked, ‘Are you gonna be here next May to see me get my degree?’ I called my doctor…got my meds figured out… put myself on that Mediterranean-DASH diet…already lost fourteen pounds…”


Paleontology expert on Silver Lake region, CA.

“I look at my life as a history in the making. Not better than yesterday, or last year. Merely on track…”


My sister, always honest and creative.

“Bob? Who cares? When I get through the day, that’s doing better than when I got up in the morning, and went out the door…”


And me?

“Definitely, a no. 9 in the works. Books on course. Moving forward. Painting life in its right place. New hard drive installed; old one on its way to an expert to try to retrieve some special files… And two double batches of those Archway-like powdered sugar-coated Pecan balls, on the cooling racks.”



Have a blessed and safe holiday week. And thanks from “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: And, That’s A Good Thing



  1. Four guest passes to see The Last Jedi. (Thanks, Doc.)


  1. Packed cookies all in the mail, folks.


  1. I’d saved six of seven manuscripts and related files and setups onto flash drives. (See no. __ below.)


  1. Installed new hard drive. Now waiting for copy of new operating system from Microsoft.


  1. Old hard drive is on its way for specialist to run analysis, recover files…reactivate.


  1. So far, all “readers-en-field” have also written reviews. (And all are very positive.)


  1. Online bookseller Curtis is a first-class networker, linking only serious participants.


  1. Connection with best-selling author Buddy A. is proving outstanding.


  1. Artist-sculptor of Neanderthal in cover photo is on board 100 percent. And, with her international connections.


  1. Indiana cousin made it to the altar on December 2. (Three months earlier, his spinal cord was severely damaged in a five-vehicle pile up on the interstate.)


  1. New outpatient neurologist at CNH/FHMG is a very sharp, wholistic health pro. Very up to date on research, therapies and clinical trials.




  1. The new hard drive will not open up. Note: I’m waiting for new Windows 7 from Microsoft.


  1. I lost all of no. 7 manuscript and related files, when the hard drive failed. Rebooting, etc. a NO GO. Started working on this one in 2011.



Sometimes, even good or not so good things encapsulate the opposite effect.


“Painting with Bob” is a blog aimed at helping painters and decorators, including contractors.

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Upcoming Paintshop Posts: November and December 2017

1. Paintshop Software Programs, Aids, Apps, etc.
– Including sources for information

2. Paintshop Policies and Practices: Reporting Problems

A. Problems with products and materials
B. Problems with tools and equipment
C. Problems with theft and/or property damage
D. Problems with teammates related to your job description

3. Painter’s World: How Job Descriptions Have Changed

A. New key words and phrases, and what they mean
B. What term “must be able to do other things” really means
C. Job titles used today
D. Other skills and abilities that painters are expected to have today

4. Paintshop: New Construction Materials that Affect Painter’s Job

A. Examples of new materials used in hotels, commercial buildings, etc.

1) Types of painting and finishing products these new materials require
2) Types of painting tools and equipment needed to apply them

B. Examples of new materials used in residential and commercial-residential buildings
1) Types of painting and finishing products these new materials require
2) Types of painting tools and equipment needed to apply them

5. Paintshop: Techniques and Methods that Painters Need Today to Work on Newer Construction

6. Painter’s World: Painting and Decorating for the Disabled or Handicapped Person

A. What colors work better for the disabled person’s environment
B. What textures work better – and which to avoid
C. What patterns work better – and which to avoid
D. What wallcoverings work better – and which to avoid
E. Why above recommendations or choices are better.
F. Which recommendations actually benefit disabled person – and how, and when.

Happy – and Safe – Halloween!
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Paintshop: What Hotel and Facility Painters NEED to Do Their Jobs

*** A lead painter, whose hotel was damaged by Hurricane Maria’s winds, reminded me about a post that I missed submitting. Perhaps, you will find something here that can help you in 2017.


A hotel chain’s Senior chief engineer in South Carolina emailed about team preparedness, after the October 29, 2014 post. (“Hotel Engineering Team Training: Pilot Project 2015”)


“We’re a small group of specialty brand inns.  Our paint applicators are all experienced in brush, roller and spray. None of them requires formal instruction on using new products, tools (and) equipment. Each painter is good at picking up on things, and running with it.


“Our budget is always tight. The 2015 budget can be stretched to purchase a few newer types of products, tools and equipment for each paint shop.


“I emailed all of our engineering directors. Each submitted a similar short list of needs. All of them requested the following:


1.  Samples of new formulations of basic paint products that may fit our property needs.

‘My application specialist needs to test out a product before he can decide whether to go with the newer product, or stick with the standard one.’


2. Small samples of products as they come on the market.

‘Our chief engineers push for their painters and maintenance techs to get to test out any new product, supply, tool, or piece of equipment before they get stuck with it.’


3. Free new painting and maintenance tools to try-before-we-buy.

‘Promising new tools come on the market. I want my painter, and maintenance people, to be able to try a few of them, at least. . .It makes no sense to buy a new tool for my paint shop, before we know if it will work for the painter that has to use it.’


4. New spray gun, or spray system pre-purchase testing

‘Each of our painters does a lot of spraying, interior and exterior. At some point, a spray gun becomes too costly to repair, or rebuild, even with thorough cleaning and careful maintenance. Replacement becomes sensible option. Some of the new spray gun systems can be expensive…’


Question 1: “Bob, who do we call to get small samples of products as they come on the market?”

Answer: “In your capacity, contact the product manufacturer’s testing division. Explain your interest and need in testing new products before you buy them. Tell them about the products, including theirs, that your painters have used in the past. Share a short list of pros and cons. Offer specific engineering departments and sites within your chain as “testers and test sites.”


Question 2: “How do we get samples of new paint/finish products that may fit our property (ies)?”

Answer: “Talk to your regular paint supplier/distributor first. If that doesn’t work, contact the paint manufacturer’s representative for each respective product line.”

TIP: “It might help to seal the arrangement if you can offer your paint applicators’ experiences with the product as ‘painting trade testimonials.’ Check in advance with a few of your painters.”


Question 3: “How do we get to test out new tools and equipment free? Try-before-we-buy?”

Answer: “Contact the respective tool manufacturer – “Trade/contractor services.” Talk with the director or assistant director of their “after market” research testing center. Find out what type(s) of research data they need.


“And, if you know that you can help meet their need:

“FAX a 1-2 page “Trade Testing-Based Proposal. Offer to provide “after market” tool use data. State how many “testing” locations you can provide and their location. For each, describe:

(1) approximate acreage and age of developed area, also property layout;

(2) structures: number, square footage, style, relevant substrates;

(3) paint shop job description, capabilities.


“For the tool, describe (1) need: current and projected; (2) use: how, where, and frequency; (3) purchasing plan: minimum quantity, initial order; approximate purchase date(s).


TIP: “Keep your proposal brief, and to the point! Do not offer the expertise of any specific dynamo painters under your umbrella. At this point, do not “bank on” any staff member to help pull this off.”


Question 4: “How can we get at least three spray systems to try out? Pre-purchase testing. Longer than one day for each system.

“Next year’s budget: I can fit in the purchase of one system for each property, after March 30. If our applicators know how to use the system, each engineering department can save sizeable funds, now going to outside contractors…”

Answer: “Spray systems for commercial and/or industrial use tend to be expensive. Phone the manufacturer’s nearest rep. Especially if you already use one or more of their spray guns and spraying systems.


“If you’re confident that you can provide important data not yet at the manufacturer’s fingertips:

“FAX a 1-page proposal letter. Offer to supply certifiable testimonials from both your top, and less experienced, sprayers. Include their experience in using that manufacturer’s spray systems, also their experience using any comparable system made by a top competitor.

“Briefly describe how your sprayers can provide feedback that will help the manufacturer build and sustain its market base for that specific spray system.

 TIP: “Please do not offer to provide any data that you’re not certain you can supply.”


Some needs transfer into future situations. Some useful ideas turn into future opportunities.


Thanks for reading “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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